What You Need to Know About Alternative and Specialty Credit Bureaus Part 1

Alternative and Specialty Credit Bureau Differences

Most people hear the words “credit bureau” and automatically think of the big three credit ureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. However, there are several other specialty or alternative credit bureaus that should be kept in mind as well. The additional bureaus are governed by the same federal laws, but what separates them is that they gather different types of information.

The difference for Information Collected

With the three big bureaus, they primarily gather information for lines of credit and loans. With the specialty credit bureaus, they gather types of information on you.

Not Just Loans and Credit

Credit bureaus don’t just track information for credit, personal loans, auto loans, and mortgage loans. For example, there are two credit bureaus that gather utility payment information on you. If you apply for telephone service, electric service, or natural gas, those companies tend to rely on information not collected or found on your credit report with Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. They are more likely to contact specialty credit bureaus that gather information specifically on utility accounts and your payment history on those types of accounts. One such credit bureau is the National Consumer Utilities and Telecom Exchange. Another is PRBC, also known as Payment Reporting Builds Credit. If you contact those agencies, you can find out what their history on you is, and it will give you a bigger picture of what information is being sent to companies on you, along with what’s on your big three credit reports.

If you have questions on this issue, feel free to send me an email at [email protected]

Donald Hedervare
About the Author: Donald Hedervare
Donald J. Hedervare, Jr. has been practicing in the areas of bankruptcy law, student loan law and military justice for 17 years. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Ramsey County Bar Association, and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.